Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

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As I wind up my 24th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them.

Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our legislators to …

The Sensei Goes to Sacramento

Did you know that there is a blueprint for California schools? It's a road map that tells where schools are headed, and how they will get there. Check it out here.


Well now that document needs an update and the State Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson, has asked a classroom teacher to co-chair the update process of the blueprint. A teacher whose school is in South Central L.A...you guessed it. Me!

The Blueprint addresses important issues such as:
  • Educator Quality
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Higher Education and Secondary Alignment
  • Accountability and School Improvement
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Supports
  • Health, Nutrition and Physical Fitness
  • School Finance
  • Facilities and Construction Reform

Working with my co-chair Chris Steinhauser, the Superintendent of Long Beach Unified, will be a treat; I have much respect for someone who can manage a large district and avoid debacles like iPads and tech systems. His union-management agreement on teacher evaluations is a model for districts.

So why have a classroom teacher lead this initiative? Because our SSI values the opinions of those who are still in the classroom. And what will these strategies look like in the most challenging schools? 

It looks like this blog is achieving its purpose. Tom Torlakson did not forget South Central.


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